Friday, November 21, 2008

10 Ways to Get Free Money from the Government

One of my favorite business blogs,, posted this very informative entry titled “How to Get Free Government Money 101.” In the entry the blogger gives advice on how business owners can get money form the government to help make ends meet during times of economic uncertainty. Listed below is the author’s advice broken down into 10 tips.

1) Only 12% of Gov't Money goes to the poor

Most Americans think that government money programs are for everyone else... for instance only the poor, minorities or friends of the president.

But, only 12% of Government Handouts go to the poor. And only 25% of Government Programs have income requirements

The rich and famous, including Donald Trump, H. Ross Perot, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, all made millions as private citizens with the help of government money programs. If they're eligible, you certainly should be too.

2) Only 20% of Free Money is called "Grants"

Most free money programs are not called “grants” by the government, they’re called “direct payments.” It is very easy for someone not to know all about government jargon, but just a little research can clear up quite a few misconceptions. Don't discourage yourself by focusing only on "grants" and dismissing the other 80%.

3) 50 Million people don't even know they're eligible

This is one of the most important points to keep in mind: The Government cannot and does not advertise programs that offer free money. But it's out there, lots of it. You just have to invest time finding the programs.

4) You can't make one phone call and just get a check in the mail

Getting government money is like looking for a job. When you knock on one door and ask about a job, and they tell you that you are not qualified, you don’t go home and wait for them to change their mind.

No Way. You would never hear back. You have to be persistent and go from one office to the next until you find a good fit.

5) Free Money keeps growing no matter who is sitting in the White House

We constantly hear about government budget cuts and that makes people believe that government money is going away or will soon be gone. But every year for the past 30 years the amount of free government money given out to individuals keeps growing. It keeps increasing no matter if it’s the republicans or the democrats who are in charge. With the new Obama administration especially, we will be seeing more offered to small business and entrepreneurs in the form of government money programs.

6) You certainly don't need a professional grant writer

Nine out of ten times you will not need help in filling out an application. Most free money programs to pay for your bills, education, health care, housing and even business require just a few pages of blanks to fill in.

If you have trouble filling out an application for money, don’t hire a consultant. Go to the office that is handing out the money. The are obligated to help you fill out your application and they are in the best position to know what should be included.

7) You can apply for as many programs as you like

Don’t worry about how many programs you can apply for. If you see a program that you think might work for you, apply to it. Sure there are some programs that give money for specific reasons and if you get accepted from 2 separate places you will have to refuse one of the offers, but that's still a nice position to be in.

8) It doesn't always matter if it sounds like you don't qualify

Here's an example: “All the money is given out by August 30th”: The end of the accounting year for most government agencies September 30, but the agency can start giving out more money beginning October 1, and you can be the first in line.

In all likelihood, you can wait another 30 days for your money.

9) Information can often times be out-of-date

Every day programs come and go. Every day people change their address, phone number and websites. It is just a fact that these things happen in our modern society.

But remember, if a listing leads you to a non-working number or website, it does not necessarily mean that the program is gone. Call the agency listed in the program description and ask.

10) Don't be intimidated by the idea that the applications are all long and confusing

Getting an application that is only one-page long is not unreasonable at all. Many of the government programs that give our grants really don’t need a lot of financial information because unlike a bank they are not worried if you don’t pay the money back. They don’t want it back. It’s free money.

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